“The problem with customer service”

by Daniel Batten on July 21, 2010

Have you noticed that every organization on the planet talks about the importance of great customer service? Undeniably it is essential to serve the customer well. But why is the word “customer” necessary?

Isn’t it also important to serve your employees, the business-partners, your peers, and even your suppliers?

What does it really say about an organization if there is a big disparity between how you serve customers and how you serve your own team?

Isn’t this the same as saying “I’ll serve people only when there is a direct and immediate financial benefit to doing so?” In other words, are you not rather too transparently announcing “I don’t authentically care about people?”

Businesses that succeed today go much deeper than customer service, they serve every person they touch. The notion of “being of service” permeates through the whole organization. Check out the way that the two most successful technology companies on the planet treat their team, and you will see all the hard evidence of this that you need.

So whatever benchmark you have for the way you treat your customers – why not create the same benchmark for the way you treat everyone in your team? Then sit back and watch magic happen.

Remove the word “customer” from “customer service” and simply focus on service.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick July 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm

That makes a lot of sense to me!

Mark July 23, 2010 at 11:36 am

Couldn’t agree more Daniel. For the last five years I have stated this up front in our introduction letter to new clients. In that letter we state “I believe we have the right mix of professionalism, service ethics and skill-set that your business is looking for. Honesty and integrity followed by taking ownership, accountability and responsibility are very important to us. We also look for that in suppliers, partners and in the clients we take on.”

I think most businesses have missed the concept that “customer service” is actually an opportunity to be “of service” with everyone you come in to contact with, both internally and externally to your business.

My business would quite simply not survive with out my team in the same way that it would not survive with out my clients.

I have heard a lot of business owners complain about staffing problems and that it is hard to get good staff. Typically my perception of what they are saying is that they don’t see the value in their staff and the symbiotic relationship that exists to be of service.

Let me thank you Daniel for the service you provide and these timely reminders – cheers!

Tony July 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Right on Daniel!!…to be of service, to me, is to give more than what the person may expect, to be serving. this then sets up a means for others to serve us and so to receive anothers “service” is the flip side of the same coin to give “great service”…

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